Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two vintage Window Chore Charts

I promised to show you another project using my 'ole buddy, tin.  This project came about a number of years ago when I was trying to come up with a cute chore chart for my children.  Everything I saw online was too funtional and not "pretty" enough if I was going to have it hanging around every day.  I found an old window and replaced 3 of the panes of glass with tin.  I have two versions that I've done.  My first was this one:

I blew up a farm print on my printer to fit the top pane.  I found some cute folk-art pigs to laminate and put magnets on the back.  I then wrote the chores on the pigs and assigned chores to my kids.  I loved to say that our house "looks like a pig sty!  Time to do chores!" I also took some fun photos of the kids in overalls and cut out and laminated those as well.

I really loved this one, but after having this one for over 8 years (not to mention we had 2 more children and needed to add them) I was ready for a change.  I found this beauty and did a similar thing:

I fell in love with the style of this window and knew I had to make it work.  I knocked out all the glass, painted a couple coats of black paint and then used Glazier points to hold in the tin.  I ordered some vinyl lettering to say "Chores" and to decorate the side panes. 

I found these cute frames for the kids' pictures in the scrapbooking section at Michael's.  I glued magnets to the back of the pictures.  I typed up the chores and then used mod podge to stick them to clear floral marbles.  When dry, I glued on magnets (see a theme here?!)

This method of chores still works best for our family.  I can go lighter on them when they have a lot of homework to do or load it up for Saturday House-cleaning day. The kid's like to tease each other and I often find it looking like this (poor 3 year-old!):

I'm waiting for the day that the little stinkers hide all the chore marbles!

I find old windows at garage sales and once found a guy on Craigslist who had a barn full of old windows!  I bought around 30 and my gal-friends and I had fun making tons of things out of them.  Here are some we did:

And some internet inspiration for using old windows and frames:

I need your help!

I found these windows up in the Adirondacks and had to have them.  I got a free piece of mirror from Habitat ReStore and for $10 a glass shop cut it for me.  I used mirror clips to attach the mirror to the backs.  I still need to play with the arrangement since everyone that sees it thinks its a wagon wheel! Sigh... I don't want it to be country.  What do you think I should do to tweak it so it doesn't come across country-themed?  I'd love your ideas.

Should I paint them?  Would they look better spaced apart?  It's missing something but I can't figure it out yet!

I'm participating in Linky parties at:


  1. Hi. What if you spaced them all about an inch apart? I think it looks great as is, but I can see how it looks like a wheel. I don't know, though, I go to your blog FOR inspiration, not to give it. Also, I am wondering if you have any ideas for me. I have a wall full of mis-matched frames full of pictures through the years -- kids when they were younger, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Do you have any ideas for how to organize and display lots of different sized photos -- like 20 photos, some b&w and old, some large and colored. Any help would be great.

  2. Hi Erin! I just jumped over from Frugal Friday. I love odl windows too! They are so run to decorate with. My favorite window project ever is when I took an old single pane window had some wanescoating cut for it, I painted it then glued some dried roses and screwed them together and it made like a shadow box type frame. As for yours not looking too country I might paint them black and not turn them to meet at the points maybe turn them so the points face out. Not sure at all if that would look goofy, just an idea. Well I LOVE your windows, I think I might have to go hunt me down a few more.

  3. Paint them black like your piano, they will look so sleek. Then add some Rub 'n buff to give it an antique shimmery elegant look. Visit this blog to see what it can do, if you've never used this stuff before
    Can't wait to see what you do!

  4. oh, yah! definitely space them apart. about an inch...

  5. Hi, Jennie! Thanks for your comments. When grouping a whole bunch of photos you definitely want something to unify them. I would paint all the frames a similar color, black or the wonderful oil rubbed bronze. Cosider limiting the number of colored photos if the majority are B&W (or vice versa.) You can always scan in photos and change their color to B&W or Sepia using Picasa or picnik (my favorite-it's free and VERY easy to use.) Choose some frames that are "chunky" or unusual sizes to really mix things up. After they're all the same color, play around with an arrangement on the floor. Keep them fairly close together and try to make an overall box shape on the outside perimeter. Go back to my post about wall arrangements and I'll tack on a few more ideas there for you

    Good luck and send a picture when you finish it!

  6. Maybe try fliping them so they radiate out from the centre? Would look more like a sunburst?

  7. I so, so, soooo love that chore chart! The shine of the tin, the pretty frames and the glistening marbles along with the vinyl - exquisite! I so need to do something along the same lines (kids not old enough for chores just yet) but I don't know what yet. Marvelous job!

  8. This is fabulous! I love it! Your other window projects are so creative {and so is the internet eye candy} Stop by the Sunday Showcase Party if you get a chance! Now I need to find some windows!!

  9. Thanks so much for stopping by and linking up to the Sunday Showcase Party! I greatly appreciate it! This is so creative! Hope you enjoy your week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  10. Love the window chore chart! I, too, have done several different chore charts through the years, but they never really worked or looked great. I could definitely do the window one, though, and I love the pictures of the kids - cute! About your other window, what about painting it a bold new color and taking out the "spokes"?

  11. Oh, my gosh! I am a window addict. The greatest sorrow of my life came when we moved from my window-laiden Minnesota small town to the metropolis of Phoenix. NOw do you think I can find a single one!?! LOveIT!!


  12. That looks great. Thanks for sharing at check me out saturday

  13. Love, love it! I have an old window in my garage I've been hanging onto, AND searching for a chore chart for my kids that is functional! I am so making that! Thanks!

  14. Hi Erin - just a head's up! I'd love to include a link to this post in a post I'm doing on DIY projects for old windows. :)

    LOVE your chore charts!


  15. That was fun! Your chore charts are darling and I also really enjoy a few others in there too. I've featured you on the sidebar. :)

    Thanks for linking up to Old Windows SNS!

  16. Great ideas using windows. The chore charts are too cute! Wish I'd thought of those when I was still raising my kiddos!

    Lots of good ideas here for sure!

  17. What great ideas to do with old windows! I am totally impressed! Wish I could find 30 old windows like yours!

  18. What luck to find 30 of them!!! I love both chore charts.

  19. Oh my gosh! These are ALL awesome projects.. Such a unique way to upcycle all of your old windows! Beautiful~
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

  20. Erin, how did you secure the photos to the window that is the "family established" one? I bought an old window this past weekend and want to replicate that design. Hints or ideas would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I am also a suburban Chicago gal, and retired teacher.

  21. Hi - I happened upon your blog via Pinterest. Love all the window ideas! The three-pane window with the "K" on it was one I did...posted on my blog www.sylviasdaughter.blogspot, as well as on - stop by for more ideas! I love seeing what other people create with old "junk"!

    Have a great day!



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